“Joints for Jabs” Press Release

‘Joints for Jabs’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2021
CONTACT:
KRIS FURNISH (720) 607-8369
Kris@MDMJ.org

DC Marijuana Justice to Reward Free Cannabis at Vaccination Sites Across the District of Columbia in Spring 2021

Wildly Popular Joint Giveaway At Inauguration Rescheduled to Summer

WASHINGTON, DC – Like many groups across the United States, Maryland Marijuana Justice (“MDMJ”) discontinued its regular in-person meetings when the coronavirus pandemic began last year, posing a significant barrier to cannabis advocacy—an effort that relies heavily on Maryland residents’ ability to publicly convene and press for meaningful cannabis reform. Without a safe way for citizens to publicly gather to advocate for reforming the cannabis laws in the state of Maryland, MDMJ looks forward to the coronavirus vaccinations being widely available. To celebrate this momentous occasion, MDMJ is teaming up with our sister-group DC Marijuana Justice (“DCMJ”) in an event where DC home growers will lawfully distribute free bags of cannabis outside vaccination centers in the District of Columbia as soon as the general public is able to get vaccinated. MDMJ is seeking volunteers to be part of ‘Joints for Jabs’ this summer.

Dubbed “Joints for Jabs,” a play on the jab of a vaccine injection, this community effort aims to highlight the need for further local and national cannabis reform while also advocating for equitable distribution of the critical vaccine. MDMJ notes that to safely share a cannabis joint without potentially contributing to the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, each user must be vaccinated—an objective that necessitates accessibility for all District residents. The District of Columbia’s Department of Health has not yet named the public vaccination sites, but upon their identification MDMJ will issue a follow up to this release providing each ‘Joints for Jabs’ location, dates, and hours of operation.

“With all the concern around the new coronavirus vaccine, and vaccines in general, we believe giving away free cannabis will help ease the anxiety of getting the shot,” says MDMJ co-founder Kris Furnish. “I want to make sure the cannabis community helps eradicate the virus, and anyone who gets vaccinated will get a small gift of free cannabis.”

During the pandemic cannabis dispensaries have been considered essential businesses. However, due to a patchwork of state laws and a lack of federal action, millions of Americans still source cannabis from the underground economy, which has varying degrees of quality and safety. As homegrowers, MDMJ & DCMJ members gifting cannabis will only share cannabis grown free of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. 

INAUGURATION JOINT GIVEAWAY POSTPONED UNTIL AT LEAST SUMMER

MDMJ does not anticipate that enough citizens will be inoculated with a coronavirus vaccine by the time President-Elect Joe Biden is sworn in on January 20, 2021 to safely hold a joint giveaway. More importantly, assuming the pandemic has subsided President-Elect Biden has indicated there will be a summer Inauguration event on the National Mall as is traditionally done in January. 

On January 20, 2017, at the Inauguration of President Donald Trump, DCMJ organized a massive cannabis distribution demonstration called “#Trump420.”  The wildly popular protest to end marijuana prohibition highlighted the fact that cannabis reform is not a partisan issue, but an American issue that needed to be addressed by the incoming president.  Thanks to local, national, and international media attention, by 10:00 AM a line of cannabis reform advocates stretched over 6 blocks long, and by the end of the day over 10,000 cannabis joints were given away to adults of all political persuasions.  Unfortunately, nearly four years later, cannabis remains illegal under federal law.

In 2020, the House of Representatives passed historic legislation called the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (“MORE Act”). This legislation would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and enact various criminal and social justice reforms related to cannabis, including the expungement of prior convictions. However, the Senate did not take up this important legislation in the remaining days of the 116th Congress.  MDMJ expects that the MORE Act will be introduced and passed in the 117th Congress and hope Democratic leaders take action quickly.

“Together, DCMJ, MDMJ, and VAMJ lobbied members of Congress after a “Seed Giveaway” in 2019. “We lobbied lawmakers on several pieces of legislation vital to the federal legalization of cannabis, laying the groundwork for the evolution and passage of The MORE Act,” says Furnish, the group’s cofounder.

ABOUT MARYLAND MARIJUANA JUSTICE

Founded in 2018, MDMJ focuses on patient and consumer rights including home cultivation, restorative justice, and equity for People of Color. In October of 2018, MDMJ organized and staged an “#OverdoseHarris demonstration to highlight Republican Congressman Andy Harris of Maryland’s 1st Congressional Districts’ callous attitude toward cannabis as a treatment for opioid addiction where members were arrested for consuming cannabis in front of Harris’ DC office. Members of DCMJ and MDMJ participated in an annual Congressional Seed In, where free cannabis seeds were given to members of Congress and staff members.  In 2018 and 2019, aligned organizations MDMJ, VAMJ , and COMJ, were formed to advocate for cannabis reform in Maryland, Virginia, and Colorado. MDMJ demands cannabis be removed from the Controlled Substances Act and all Americans are given the right to grow cannabis in the safety and privacy of their homes.

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